Whether you’re new to wine or a seasoned pro, few wine destinations offer more appeal than Sonoma County. With an inviting tapestry of valleys, mountains, and coastlines spanning over 60,000 acres of vineyards, each of the region’s 400 wineries offers a distinctive wine tasting experience just north of San Francisco and west of Napa Valley.
Like many other California wine regions, Sonoma County is divided into smaller sub-regions, known as American Viticultural Areas (AVAs). The iconic Russian River Valley, known for its cool-climate Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays, contrasts with the warmer Alexander Valley, a haven for full-bodied yet structured Cabernet Sauvignons. The Sonoma Coast AVA, with vineyards cooled by ocean breezes, gifts wine lovers with ethereal Pinot Noirs, while the Moon Mountain District, rising more than 2,000 feet above Sonoma Valley, offers sun-drenched Zinfandels and robust red blends. And this is just a glimpse; there are 19 unique AVAs to explore here.
Sonoma County’s vibe is one of relaxed, totally welcoming sophistication. Visitors can easily fill their time exploring not just historic estates and boutique wineries, but an exciting culinary scene, buzzing city squares, lodging options that range from cozy to downright decadent, and adventure, outdoor, and wellness-driven activities for every type of traveler.
With so much to do and see, we’ve created a helpful three-day itinerary to guide your visit, whether you’re a first-time visitor or lifelong fan.